SpaceX satellite internet ambitions enters first regulatory hurdle
The company tasked with contracted rocket launches has also staked a mission it had announced in 2015 with the Federal Communication Commission in the US for a network of 4,425 satellites to deliver high-speed internet to the world.
The first batch of 800 units will serve the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The devices, which weigh 850 pounds excluding solar panels, will orbit the globe from 714 to 823 miles above.
While Musk said that he expects to spend $10 billion on the network, no financial or technical aspects were disclosed in the SpaceX filing. There’s also no ETA on the plan nor or on the FCC’s next action.
The filing comes at a poor time for both SpaceX, still shrugging off the explosion of the Falcon 9 shuttle along with its Israeli payload, and the commission, having just been told by Congress to hold off on its agenda until the Donald Trump administration settles into the White House.
SpaceX isn’t the only player in the satellite internet game, but its progressive and tech-forward CEO has kept the company in the spotlight and its willingness to spend money quickly could keep it on par with the likes of Boeing.